The type of integration you choose to implement with your cash recyclers is a key step in your process to ensure success with TCRs. The decision you then make is between Direct Integration or Middleware/Soft Integration. There are pros and cons to both arrangements, and it’s important to understand your environment, size of project and geography to choose the best methodology for success.
Direct Integration, meaning the teller system itself is giving direct commands to the hardware, often has the fewest steps and feels most simplistic to the tellers operating the device. Most direct integrations update the cash values in the teller drawer and TCR in real-time, but that’s not true in 100% of cases. Direct integration can also limit hardware choices, as maybe the teller system only has “certified” integrations to 2-3 TCRs, which may not include your preferred hardware selection for your environment or vendor you’ve chosen to work with. Direct integration is typically limited to deposit and withdrawal functionality only, so if your hardware has additional functionality like self-audit, inventory management functions with a transit or operational cassette, those may not be available for use in the direct integration limiting overall performance.
In the typical Middleware environment, the teller system assumes all cash is coming and going out of the teller’s drawer, and there is a buy/sell ticket that needs to be accomplished at end of day to “true up” the balance with what has been bought from and sold to the TCR. This process on average takes 1-2 minutes at end of day. Middleware often leverages “hot keys” or buttons that tell the Middleware to do something with the teller system. For instance, you might press <F10> or <ctrl-D> for a deposit to tell the TCR “Hey I am ready to deposit cash in.” The TCR counts the cash, shows the amount in the middleware and once the teller accepts it, populates the teller system with denominational totals counted. Middleware will also allow employees who are not directly connected to the unit to do transactions like vault buys, vault sells or one-off platform transactions, which may not be possible in direct integration. Lastly, Middleware allows the TCR vendor to service the whole solution both hardware and software versus relying on the CORE to support any “glitch” or “error” that may come up during a process.
The typical installation of middleware either on network or via USB connection takes roughly 1-2 hours to get setup and configured with your environment. Most times at QDS, we start the hardware and software install in the morning, cash is loaded by lunchtime and we are running live transactions by early afternoon on day one. The files are also easy to replicate, meaning once the setup is configured correctly, IT can grab that set up and replicate it across other branches, which cuts time out of the process at scale.